Enriching scholars


Jullie Y. Daza

In my family, Ateneo, UP, and UST are the universities to enroll sons and daughters after high school. Generally, the girls are alumnae of Immaculate Conception Academy Greenhills and the boys are from Ateneo.

We non-Atenistas have a common challenge: Why shouldn’t the Jesuits rank high in the yearly surveys of “top” universities when they charge such high fees at enrolment time? Why, there’s no decent way to compare UST’s fees with Ateneo’s! And I know it, because I could feel the pain – a burning sensation – in my butt every year that my two boys reported to the Loyola campus, grade school to college.

The latest Quacquarrelli Symonds World University Rankings place UP at #336-404; Ateneo 516; La Salle 641-650; UST 851-900. It’s a long way from Ateneo’s 516 to UST’s 851, but so is the difference in tuition between the two schools!

A few days ago, Maya Sabine Tuviera (ICA 2023), turning 19 soon, received a two-sentence press release from her school, University of Notre Dame du Lac in South Bend, Indiana, USA, informing her that she was on the dean’s list representing the top 30 percent of the college of arts and letters, where she’s a freshman. Maya bagged her scholarship worth $100,000 on her own – just sitting in front of the computer and asking questions of her top five “dream universities.” She’s home until August, when classes resume. And, oh, part of her scholarship included a $5,000 package, called enrichment fund, that she designed on her own, for which she chose a visit to Rome.   

More than a grandmother’s bragging rights, I wish that news of Maya’s achievement would spread far and wide among our philanthropists – individuals and foundations – to inspire them to do more for our kids, not just those in need but also those who deserve a trip overseas to broaden their outlook and deepen their curiosity in the world outside their home, country, and school.

As for UST, we alumni can rightfully brag that it’s the only university in Manila where, despite a student population of 40,000, it has space for a tree-lined campus, football field, botanical garden, museum, hospital, parking building, restaurants, and a library where you climbed on a moving staircase to reach the top shelves, magic!